CIPFA calls for public service reform in Northern Ireland

1 Dec 17

Public service reform in Northern Ireland is “imperative” and needs to be a top priority if services are to be made more sustainable and effective, CIPFA has said.

The institute commented that the current political stalemate in Northern Ireland meant the public service reform agenda had stalled and issued five policy recommendations to support effective service delivery. Chief among these was a commitment to a “local assembly with meaningful devolved competences”.

Other recommendations included a continued commitment to outcomes, a more innovative approach to governance and leadership and an honest debate with the public about the financing of public services.

Don Peebles, head of devolved nations at CIPFA, said: “After years of decreasing budgets and rising service demand, public services in Northern Ireland are already facing their fair amount of challenges.

“These problems aren’t simply going to go away. In fact, it is likely that they will only increase in the future.”

He added: “It is imperative then that there is fundamental reform of public services in North Ireland. This should involve a more co-ordinated and joined up approach, as if organisations work together to get this right then services could become more sustainable and effective for future generations.”

CIPFA’s recommendations and priorities were debated at the Northern Ireland Public Sector Chairs Forum’s Leadership and Governance Forum on 30 November. A briefing document is then expected to be published setting out how to take these ideas forward.

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